Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras joined 150 world leaders at the inaugural session yesterday (30.11) of the Paris COP 21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

Addressing participants, Tsipras said that the summit, as an obligation toward future generations, should mark a historic breakthrough for a "global shift to a climate-friendly, sustainable society" and attacked neoliberal capitalist globalization for dismantling social cohesion. "The process of ecological transformation in societies is directly linked with social change in the perspective of a global community without inequalities" he added.

“Greece, which at the moment is experiencing an unprecedented refugee crisis and human despair, gives political priority to the need to prevent climate change displacement risk” the PM stressed, noting that the country uses 20% of the EU structural funds in ways that help to tackle climate change.

Wire photographers are at the forefront of the news, and while their names may often remain unknown, their images appear on the front pages of newspapers and magazines around the world. For the last six years, TIME has turned the spotlight on the best of these photographers. This year, it was AFP’s Angelos Tzortzinis who clinched the 2015 Wire Photographer of the Year title "for his heartfelt work documenting his country’s response to two unprecedented crises" - the refugee crisis in Greece, as well as the country's economic crisis.

The young Greek photographer began his career as an independent photographer and joined AFP as a stringer in 2007, while also working as a freelancer in Middle East, Ukraine and Turkey. He also worked for the New York Times and his pictures have appeared on Time, Newsweek and other publications.

For the last six years, Tzortzinis has focused on the various crises facing Greece, from violence in the streets to the mass arrival of migrants. He admits that his closeness to the story can hinder the news-gathering process, but he strives to find the truth as to what is happening. His images of the economic crisis have been powerful reminders of the true impact on people’s lives of political decisions made in Paris, Berlin and Brussels.

Currently, Tzortzinis is covering the migrant and refugee crisis in Greece, traveling across the Greek land and sea borders but also documenting migrants’ lives in Athens and their efforts to leave a country undergoing a severe economic crisis. "My goal is not to be one more witness to this situation. I try to keep as much distance as possible and show things people might not usually see. I want to make images that pose questions about the future of these people".

Greece is once again a pioneering force in the field of natural beauty. Microsmetics is a promising EU funded project for the discovery of novel cosmeceutical agents from microorganisms, which aspires to become a successful model of an efficient, long-lasting collaboration between Industry and Academia for the sustainable exploitation of existing know-how and produced knowledge. Coordinated by the Faculty of Pharmacy of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the project is developed by four Academic and four Industrial partners from Greece, France and Spain that are world leaders in their field. 

The aim is to discover and develop innovative products in the area of cosmeceuticals originating from global biodiversity through the use of emerging and state-of-the-art technologies in the field of biotechnology, natural product chemistry and applied microbiology. Special attention will be given to the anti-oxidant, skin-protecting and skin-whitening activity of all the derived products while optimum fermentation technologies will be used to ensure sustainability of the final products. 

These objectives will be implemented through an extended and balanced scheme of researcher’s exchanges and recruitment, in both directions and via a mutual scientific project developed on the needs and interests of both Industrial and Academic sectors, making the most of existing complimentary expertise.

The duration of the project is four years and has a total budget of 2.2 million euros.

British Airways announced it will launch direct flights from London’s Heathrow Airport to Kalamata International airport in the region of the Peloponnese, starting from April 30 to September 26, 2016. The region expects this new development to boost local tourism, since many luxury resorts have been built on the region’s most fascinating coasts.

This connection makes Kalamata the 10th destination for British Airways in Greece, as the company already operates flights to several Greek destinations, including Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete (both Chania and Heraklion), Corfu, Santorini, Kos and Mykonos.

The plan to launch direct flights from London follows that of holding the annual conference of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) last October at one of the region’s luxury resorts, highlighting the increasing preference of the British tourism market for the southwestern corner of Greece.
Visitors from the United Kingdom will now have the chance to discover the city of Kalamata and the natural beauty of the Messinia region, including olive groves, green valleys, mountains, gorges, numerous small or long sandy beaches – not to mention the historical sites and antiquities.